Our History

ECDC was established in 1983 as a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) community-based organization to respond to the needs of a growing Ethiopian community both in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and across the United States.

Since its founding, ECDC has served newcomers representing diverse cultural backgrounds from around the world. Working locally, regionally and nationally, ECDC is a domestic, non-governmental organization authorized by the U.S. Department of State to resettle refugees. Our public education program aims to increase awareness within the wider community and among mainstream organizations about issues of concern to the newcomer community, and to African refugees and immigrants.

The Early Years

In the 1980s, ECDC concentrated on bridging the gaps in mainstream services for newcomers.

During the 1990s, ECDC expanded organizationally and programmatically to meet the needs of the African community. In 1991, ECDC inaugurated a national refugee resettlement program that operates through a network of African CBOs located across the U.S. In 1992, a micro-enterprise development project launched and grew into an independent program center. The organization was officially incorporated in 2001 as a subsidiary and became the ECDC Enterprise Development Group (EDG).

Today, ECDC continues to develop programs that respond to the needs of newcomers locally and nationally, and helps increase awareness about refugee and newcomer issues both at home and abroad.

As a national voice, ECDC brings an African perspective to issues that affect African refugees in the U.S. and in Africa. We work closely with the private and public sectors, and we have a broad base of financial support derived from corporations, foundations, individual contributions, in-kind donations, religious institutions, and contracts and grants from federal, state and local government agencies. ECDC is a member of InterAction and the Refugee Council USA.